Education Key To Addressing Growing Lateral Issues

Part 3 In An Ongoing Series
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | December 2010 Vol. 65 No. 12

“These are the companies that receive calls from homeowners to remedy the sewer problems,” Brahler said. “Pipebursting and CIPP lining are two techniques that are in wide use by plumbers. The cost of these methods may be daunting at first look, but the market place will adjust, I believe.”

Hoffman Southwest’s Mark Metcalfe said some municipalities are offering incentives for rehabilitating “public” segments of laterals.

“They will reimburse homeowners for the repair of the public side or reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost to rehabilitate the entire line,” said Metcalfe. “Having some money available for the homeowners from the municipalities will help companies such as ours make lateral rehabilitation more reasonable to property owner.”

Another positive factor, said Metcalfe, is that costs of pipebursting and CIPP equipment is becoming more affordable for average plumbing companies, and that is increasing the amount of rehabilitation being done.

Metcalfe believes federal EPA regulations to require cities to have programs for rehabilitation of lateral segments on private property would help. More studies to document the actual amount of I&I and SSOs from failing laterals would be useful in the educational process, he added.

All in this together
Gil Carroll of MaxLiner/Applied Felts, said sewer cleaning specialists and plumbers have much to gain by the education of homeowners about lateral rehabilitation.

“Supporting these businesses with marketing information and arming them with tools to educate homeowners directly is an initiative that we take very seriously,” said Carroll. “Technology for quick, easy and un-intrusive methods for lateral repair needs to reach levels of awareness among property owners at a much higher level. Many times, this is a last minute process as homeowners have to deal with the issue when there are no alternatives and their lateral is past the point of no return. At this point they are at the mercy of the contractor on-site and limited to his expertise and/or commercial interests.”

Organizations such as NASSCO, NASTT, NUCA, WEF and others have the capability to impact the perceptions and understanding of the importance of lateral maintenance, Carroll continued.